Kid’s Risotto With Salmon, Courgette And Lots Of Cheese

One of the my little guy’s tolerated (i.e. cooked until it’s unrecognisable and well hidden under mountains of cheese) vegetables is courgette. Probably, because it’s a little tasteless. Therefore, I try to use it whenever I can. It can go into a lot of different dishes, including risotto. The other evening, when I was desperate to find a way to make him to eat some salmon (which is an absolute no-no) came up with this recipe. The creamy, cheesy rice is always a winner with children, so might as well try to add some extra, healthy stuff to it. It makes a great weaning meal for older babies, and as it’s not totally bland, grownups can enjoy it too. (But there’s no wine in it, sorry. Can’t blame the opening of a bottle of vino on the risotto.)

Tip: Of course, you cant prepare it with adding wine, like a regular risotto, it will be delicious. Try adding a little chilli flakes for an extra kick!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

150g risotto rice

200g fresh or frozen salmon

100ml milk

1 courgette halved and sliced

2 plum tomatoes chopped

Basil and parsley (a handful of fresh and chopped or 2 tsp each if dried)

2 tbsp of olive oil

a knob of butter

100g cheddar cheese (or similar)  grated

1/2 litre of vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

In a shallow pan, poach the salmon in the milk. You need to use very low heat, don’t let the milk burn. When it’s cooked through, flake the salmon and set it aside.

Heat the oil and fry the onions until they become fragrant. Add the courgette and the tomatoes along with the spices and let them soften on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare the stock with hot water and wash the rice.

Add the rice and half of the stock. Stirring often, keep adding more broth as soon as it starts to evaporate. When your rice is al dente, mix in the butter first and then the cheese. Lastly, add the salmon flakes, and serve it immediately.

Review: Term Footwear Wellies

Wellies are essential clothing items when you’re a young child. All that outdoorsy fun you don’t want to miss because of bad weather. In fact, that’s part of the fun. One word: PUDDLES. Have you met a kid who doesn’t find puddles the most exciting thing in the world? No, me neither. Bobcat is definitely a huge fan of them. Loves jumping into them and kicking the mud around. Shouts PUDDLE! every time he notices one. And goes straight for it. So he’s got a few pair of wellies, and we need to leave a pair in nursery too, for playing outside. The other reason he wears wellies quite happily, is that he has hyper mobility, so it’s simply comfortable for him and he’s ankle is well protected too.

Term Footwear is a small UK company specialising in children’s outdoor and school shoes for 7 years. Bobcat picked their Green Roll Top Wellies, his new favourite colour. They are very good quality and -with or without the removable socks – very comfy.

I find it very clever that they are coming with welly socks, so you don’t need to buy extra socks for winter wearing. In spring and summer time, simply remove them. Removing and putting the socks back is very easy, you can even put them on the child’s feet first, then put the wellies on. The wellies are made without using lead, nickle and cadmium. The other thing I found very good about the wellies, that there is a reflective strip on the back of the welly, making the child noticeable in the dark. The material is very durable, it meant to last for a season, but for me it even looks better than that, and possible to give it another life by passing it on to the younger sibling. After wearing them for avfew weeks, not much scuffs! With designs coming in 5 primary colours, they are made absolutely unisex. 

Bobcat loved his shiny, new wellies and it kept his feet lovely warm, and also protected his ankles.

Tip: when ordering them, select the size according to the season: in winter you’ll use the socks and when the socks are removed, the welly is one EU size larger, allowing room for growth.

DIY Hey Duggee Theme Birthday Party

This year I planned a Hey Duggee themed birthday party for Bobcat. To be honest, I throughly enjoyed it! For those, not familiar with the character: this is the funniest cartoon on CBeebies, on a quite sophisticated way. Duggee is a dog running a scout camp and the little animal children have to complete a task in every episode, so that they can receive a badge for it. Bobcat loves it, he picked up the simple jokes from early age. I love it too, it’s probably the best cartoon on television, it’s hilarious and clever even for an adult.

Designing the party was a bit challenging as no Hey Duggee party ware is available to buy in shops, so I had to come up with my own ideas and design. But that was the fun part for me! Feel free to use and share them 🙂

Badges

The badges are essential to be represented at a Hey Duggee themed party, since they are a vital part of every episode. Whilst looking for ideas, I found these free, downloadable badges on the CBeebies website:

Printable Hey Duggee Badges Printing them in A4 gives you just the right size to make badges with this Design a Badge Kit 55mm Clear Plastic Badge with Blank Paper Inserts for Children to Personalise & Offer as a Gift for Father’s Day (Pack of 10). Pretty easy and they look absolutely amaizing.

We just gave one to every invitees at the party, the kids absolutely loved them.

Party Bags

Party bags are nowadays just as important as the cake 🙂 Now, loot bags filled with plastic crap is one of my pet hates. So, I decided to make rainbow coloured crayon shapes for the party bags, in order to match with the Hey Duggee theme. Rainbows are frequently present in various episodes. Well, we ended up making Lego shaped crayons, and Bobcat helped too. The crayon melting was real mission, I had no idea, it’s not as easy as it looks. Read my guide about how to make shaped crayons at home: How To Make Shaped Crayons. The Lego brick and Lego man shaped crayons then filled a pretty little gift bag.

Also put a Hey Duggee activity pack with colouring sheets into the loot bag, it’s also free to download from here: Hey Duggee Activity Pack. Looked like this, matching very well with the idea of the shaped crayons:

I’ve bought simple, multicoloured paper bags to use as party bags and decorated them with the same paper cut-out badges I used for the badges. This time though, I had to get them printed in A5, so they were bigger. Extra source of fun, when the little ones are trying to match their badge with the party bag!

Cups, plates, etc

I used simple, natural white paper cups and plates, cheaply available even in supermarkets. I used the printed badge cut-outs again (sticking one on each cup). I didn’t decorate the plates as I was worried that the food would pick the colours up. But it looked fantastic on the cups and everyone remembered which was her/his cup 🙂

I unfortunately ran out of time, but paper straws could be also decorated the same way.

I also got rainbow coloured paper decoration and personalised birthday banners from here: HEY DUGGEE Personalised Birthday Banners – Pack of 2

CAKE! 

My local mummy friend provided the cake, check her site out: Rabi’s Kitchen Just like last year, and it was a huge hit again. Look at this amazing cake! And it was delicious too.We obviously had to get a cuddly toy for him, his favourite character Happy. He can do a brilliant Happy impression. 🙂

via GIPHY

One Messy Mama

HAPS SuperFruits Drink Review – Plus SuperBreakfast Recipe

I always believed in the “you are what you eat” theory and that nutrition is a key player in our wellbeing. Backed up by science and focusing on a certain area or problem, the right nutrition can be a lifesaver. Not only on physical but mental level too.

When Rik, the cheerful main guy behind HAPS contacted me, I was just having my annual dip in good old spring fatigue. As a mum of two mini energy bombs, I only have busy days. Yup, call it a cliche, but it’s a 24/7 duty. Luckily, I haven’t been physically ill lately, but mentally, it’s a challenge. Especially, if you’re sleep deprived, which I am. Rik has also fought his own fights with anxiety when he decided to develop HAPS with the help of nutritional experts.

HAPS is yummy fruit drink designed to help improve low mood and boost wellbeing. Containing only Baobab, Mango, Pear, Pineapple, Guava, Banana, Griffonia Seed Extract [5-HTP], Ionic Electrolytes, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 C, D, Zinc, Natural Flavour, Stevia. And nothing else. No bulking agents and cheap chemicals. All ingredients can be found in our food (or is a food) however, we can’t get enough or can’t absorb enough.

Review

I loved the drink just by itself, it’s tasty and refreshing. I drank it instead of my post lunch coffee and I felt quite energetic even at 21:30.

I thought even though the drink is very tasty, maybe it can be more versatile than that. It can be added to smoothies or yogurts. So next morning, I prepared this yummy breakfast bowl:

HAPS SuperBreakfast

1 sachet of HAPS SuperFruits drink

1 banana

half of a ripen mango

handful of blueberries

4 handfuls of organic puffed brown rice

3-4 tbsp of greek yogurt

1 tbsp of ground almonds

With a handmixer, combine the yogurt, HAPS drink powder, banana and mango. Leave a few bits for decoration. Add the puffed rice. Arrange everything else nicely on your plate. Ta-daa!

Doing Good on the HAPS way 

Let’s not forget about mentioning this. When I review a product, I highly appreciate when the brand does puts some effort into corporate responsibility. HAPS is sourcing the ingredients responsibly, not harming the Earth and they are all 100% natural.

If you buy HAPS, click here: Buy Haps Prices from £1.10 per serving.

I have received this product for my honest and unbiased review. I’ve concluded that it’s a great product with a small but enthusiastic startup behind it, believing in doing good.

 

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio With Dijon Potato And Cucumber Salad

This was a treat meal for my hubby as he loves smoked salmon. I wanted to make something light and summery but still a full meal at the same time. A healthy manly meal 🙂 It’s very easy and quick to prepare. The whole trick is to use a lot of herbs and the strong flavour of dijon mustard. The unusual combination of the raw, smoked salmon paired with steamed and fresh vegetables, does work very well. The cream cheese topping on the salmon softens the dijon mustard’s bite. It makes a perfect midweek dinner, so easy and quick.

Yield: serves 2

Ingredients:

150g smoked salmon

2 tbsp of spreadable cream cheese

1 tbsp of mayonnaise

handful of fresh chives, chopped finely plus some more to decorate the plate

For the salad: 

300g baby salad potatoes

150g broccoli florets

half a cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

handful of fresh parsley, chopped roughly

1 tsp of dijon mustard

1 heaped tsp of butter

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Steam the potatoes and the broccoli. The broccoli should be just al dente, so either steam them separately or remove the broccoli after 8-10 minutes steaming. Test it wih a fork. Slice the cucumber. Add them to a bowl with the fresh parsley, the mustard and the butter and mix them together until the steamed vegetables are still warm enough to melt the butter. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the cream cheese topping: whisk the cream cheese (best at room temperature) with mayonnaise, a pinch of salt and the chives. When serving the slices of salmon arranged on the plate nicely, drop half a tablespoon of the cream cheese topping on every piece. Sprinkle some fresh chive all over.

Serve it immediately, although, it’s also very nice when cold.

One Messy Mama

How To Make Shaped Crayons – The Big Crayons Melting Guide

Melting crayons into different shapes is great fun, and some of the stages can be done together with your toddler, so it can be turned into some quality crafty time with mummy or daddy. Recently, for Bobcat’s 3rd birthday, we planned a Hey Duggee themed party. I decided to make rainbow coloured crayons melted into Lego shapes and use them as a party bag filler together with colouring sheets. (I absolutely hate loot bags containing generally just rubbish quality small toys which will end up in the bin on the same day.) So one week nearing his birthday we did a few batches of shaped crayons. It’s really easy, once you worked it out how to do it and you don’t need to buy them on Etsy!

 

You need to buy crayons and silicone molds, or just use up whatever you’ve got at home in bits and pieces. I bought the Lego silicone molds here: Bessmate Set of 3 Ice Cube Trays And Candy Silicone Molds for Robot and Building Bricks Theme
Initially, the first few batches were a disaster and it took us a few tries to get them right. So, I put together this little crayons melting guide, have a go, it’s good fun 🙂

The Big Crayons Melting Guide

1. First, peel the paper off the crayons and simply break them into small pieces. You don’t need to grate them.

2. Cover your baking tray with aluminium foil, just in case, because it’s really hard to scrape the wax off, should it spill.

3. Place the crayon pieces into the shapes. Now, you obviously can’t fill it up perfectly. Fill it up as much as you can. You will need to add some extra crayon pieces mid-melting to completely fill the shape. (After being for around 5-6 minutes in the oven.) If not, your shape will be shallow. This pic below was taken before melting. Generally speaking,  the shape needed another long piece mid-melting.

4. Heat the oven to just below 100C. Even lower than that for your first attempt. This was one of my big initial mistakes. Overheating the crayons to boiling point. If this happens, you need to start over. The wax (paraffin or soy) will separate from the colour pigments and will sit on the top of the shape, looking not only ugly, but making that side of the crayon shape useless. They should be coming out of the oven just when the middle of the shape still contains hard bits. It takes only 10 minutes.

5.  After removing them from the oven, leave them in the silicone form for 8-10 minutes and they will melt all together with the rest. Check the middle with a toothpick. (At this point, if you’re making rainbow crayons, with the help of a toothpick, make a swirling pattern.)

6. When they are still runny, pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes.

7. Once you took it out of the freezer, let the silicon mold “defrost”, to avoid damaging it. Otherwise it will tear in the corners of each shape as you’re popping your crayons out of the form.

And that’s it! Hope you’ll find it useful. Get melting! 🙂

 

One Messy Mama

Name A Star – A Unique Gift Idea Review And Giveaway

Bobcat just turned three. He received so many toys and books, that (sorry, friends and grandma) that at least two-third of all the presents ended up hidden and we will release them slowly over the next year. We had to do this, as last a Christmas he got so overwhelmed by opening all the presents containing toys, that we decided, that next time we will somehow try to keep it under our control. His birthday fast approaching (knowing that this was going to happen), I really struggled for a few weeks, what kind of personalised gift we can get for him. And all of a sudden, the perfect present just showed up.

Name a star. A real star. An actual star. I’ve heard about this before, but I always thought, that it’s a long and complicated process, costing you the Earth and you need to contact NASA or something. Well, none of those.

Name A Star is an online registry, where you can simply fill in a form and it’s all done in a few days. You can pick different packages depending on your budget and select the constellation (which I found really amusing). Also, you can pick a star, which is visible in the UK. With a memorable date written on the Star Deed and a personal message, you can further personalise the gift.

I received an Extra Bright Star Gift Set, in a tasteful silver coloured presentation box. The framed A4 star deed was accompanied by confirmation letter and large sky atlas. (We hung the sky atlas in his room, as he loves space related things, so that itself is a present for him.)

The whole presentation (even two royal blue wooden roses!) makes the gift set looking very elegant, so it would make a lovely novelty present for special occasions. Prices start at £14.99 and six different packages are available with fast and free shipping.

GIVEAWAY!

star-name-registry.com also offered the fantastic opportunity to WIN a an Extra Bright Star Gift Set worth of £34.98! (You will receive the certificate and the constellation map in an envelope after naming your star.) For a chance to win, please enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

This competition will open on 30th of March 2017 at 12:00 am and will close on 7th of April 2017 at 12.00 am.
One winner will be selected at random.
UK entrants only.
No cash alternative will be offered.
The winners will be announced on Captainbobcat.com social media outlets and will be contacted by email.
The winners will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email.

Mummy in a Tutu

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

So…. I actually volunteered to be tagged by the lovely Tessa a.k.a Grumpy Mum when she was asking her fellow mummy bloggers if anyone wants to join her and complete this fun little interview. I’m very thankful for the tag, even if at first I thought, oh sssshhuggar… why did I do this to myself. But then, as I came up with the answers, I really started to enjoy it. An interview with me 🙂 Also enjoyed phrasing my own questions, they just popped out of my head as I worked my way through my interview. It was good fun.

So here are my answers:

1. Did you make any new years resolutions and have you stuck to them?

Nope. Never did, never will. I don’t believe in resolutions. If you really want something, just go for it. You don’t need to wait until new years.

2. If you could visit any time period, which would it be?

Not an easy question. Either the roaring 20’s or the hippie 60’s. I find them both equally attractive.

3. You’re stuck on a desert island (think LOST) barring people, what would you miss the most?

Assuming my family is stuck with me, I’d say art and travel.

4. What book do you think everyone should read at some point in their life?

Another hard one, let’s go with the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

5. Which word can you never spell correctly no matter how many times you spell check it?

Indefinitely. I’m not a native English speaker, but the first I should be an E really.

6. Did you love pregnancy or hate it?

Hate it. No sleep, feeling sick, can’t drink coffee. No booze at all. Second time, I even developed gestational diabetes, so I had to inject insulin two times a day. Plus I had to deal with my toddler then, so it was very tiring. But it was so worth it 🙂

7. If you could speak to yourself at the moment you first found out you were pregnant, what advice would you give?

To never forget one thing: you are enough.

8. What do you miss most about your pre-parenthood days?

Travel and obviously sleep. Even a day out with the car got a bit challenging lately, so we only just planned our first holiday flight as a family of four.

9. What makes you cringe so much your eyes water?

Populist politicians, Paolo Coelho, pseudosciences, anti-vaxxers, any religious nonsense, just to mention a few 🙂

10. If you had £1million to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

A house by the sea.

I’d like to invite:

Kelly a.k.a Daydreamer Mum

Anna over at Me, Annie Bee

Jacqui a.k.a One Messy Mama

Here are my questions:

1. Are you a type A or type B personality? Did this change when you became a parent?

2. As a child, what was your dream profession?

3. Would you try space travel?

4. Do you support any charity or organisation? If so, what’s your motivation?

5. What’s your first ever memory from your childhood?

6. Chocolate or cheese?

7. What’s your pet hate? Some oddities here, please 🙂

8. Are you an crafty person? Do you have any crafty hobby?

9. What’s the 3 most important thing you put in your suitcase when you travel?

10. Do you have a lazy beauty hack?

Mother’s Day Giveaway: Win A Carry Me Wrap By Fornessi

A few weeks ago I reviewed a fantastic new baby wrap by Fornessi

I absolutely loved this wrap, and there are lots of reasons for that! Read my review: Fornessi Carry Me Wrap Review

For this Mother’s Day, we teamed up with Fornessi again and one very lucky mama can win a Carry Me Wrap in fabulous Fresh Blueberry colour (worth £59).

For a chance to win, simply enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

This competition will open on 21st of March 2017 at 12:00 am and will close on 28th of March 2017 at 12.00 am.
One winner will be selected at random.
UK entrants only.
No cash alternative will be offered.
The winners will be announced on Captainbobcat.com social media outlets and will be contacted by email.
The winners will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email.

 

 

One Messy Mama

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Family Fever

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rachel bustin

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Chimichangas With Matcha Green Tea Cream Cheese And Strawberries

I prepared this dessert for a Mexican themed evening with my Girl Gang. It looks absolutely amazing and it’s super easy to prepare. I was looking for some Mexican dessert online, but I wanted something less complicated than flan. Then I remembered Ashlee Marie’s Cream Cheese Chimichangas, they are simply irresistible and I tried them before. But this time, I wanted a twist, so I swapped white granulated sugar for healthier coconut sugar, added strawberries and matcha green tea powder. The outcome is sweet and creamy, a lovely combination of juicy strawberries and subtle bitterness of the matcha green tea. And the colours are fabulous! I believe this filling would work great with crepes too.



Trust me, it’s super easy. Looks very complicated, but it isn’t at all. All in all takes about an hour to make them.

Yield:

12 chimichangas

Ingredients: 

12 regular size tortilla wraps

150g digestive biscuits, crushed

Vegetable oil

Toothpicks

For the filling:

600g cream cheese

400g strawberries cut into pieces (halved quarters)

5 tbsp Organic Coconut Sugar – 500g (Certified Organic)

2 tsp of matcha green tea powder

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the sugar coating:

3 tbsp of Organic Coconut Sugar – 500g (Certified Organic)

1 tsp of ground cinnamon


Method: 

Crush the digestive biscuits. Put them into a clean plastic bag and use a rolling-pin. It doesn’t matter if they are not perfectly and evenly crushed.

Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature when you start using it. With a food processor, beat the cream cheese, the coconut sugar, the matcha powder and the vanilla extract all together. Beat the egg in a cup, scramble, then add it to the mixture and lightly mix it in with a wooden spoon. Lastly, fold the strawberries into your batter.

Prepare your coating sugar, by mixing the sugar with cinnamon.

Start filling your tortilla wraps. Lay out a tortilla wrap, place 2 tbsp biscuit crumbs in the middle and put 3 heaped tbsp of batter on the top of it. Place them right next to each other, quite tightly, so they would form a rough rectangle shape. See photos. Fold the sides, I formed small envelopes, which I quite like. Secure it with a toothpick.

Heat the oil and fry them on 170C. It only takes 2 minutes each sides. Keep an eye on them, they can burn quickly. Roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

I had to reheat them to serve them at the party, it was good, however not so good when cold. Obviously, the best when served immediately.

One Messy Mama

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